Precarious Employment Is a Phenomenon of the Modern Economy

Toshchenko Zh.T.

Corresponding Member of RAS, Head of Department of the Russian State Humanitarian University; Chief Researcher, Institute of Sociology of FCTAS RAS, Moscow, Russia

DOI: 10.31857/S013216250009904-7
ID of the Article:

The article is based on the result of RSF project No. 18-18-00024.

For citation:

Toshchenko Zh.T. Precarious Employment Is a Phenomenon of the Modern Economy. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. 2020. No 8. P. 3-13


The article analyzes the variety of employment forms. A characteristic is given of the most common definitions of employment, which were offered in interpreting the real-life situation of attracting and using labor at various stages of industrial and post-industrial development. Particular attention is paid to special, specific forms of employment – non-standard, informal, atypical, unsustainable, as well as their adequacy to existing economic realities. It is shown that all of them, reflecting the prevailing practice in the use of labor, have limitations in characterizing the possibilities of using human potential and their compliance with the officially approved principles of the use of labor. It is argued that with the advent of the 4th industrial revolution and 6th technological order, these classifications do not fully correspond to the actual situation, especially with regard to changes that, so the author, can be more adequately expressed in the concept of “precarious employment”. In this regard, its definition is given, its features are described and explained. It is emphasized that precarious employment has various degrees of its severity, in connection with which its criteria are characterized.

employment; precarious employment; standard and precarious employment; formal and informal employment; typical and atypical employment


Anisimov R.I. (2019) Precarious Employment in Russia: Specifying Main Indicators. Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological Studies]. No. 9: 64–72. DOI: 10.31857/S013216250006652-0. (In Russ.)

Barsukova S.Yu. (2006) Informal Economy: Concept, Traditions of Study. Voprosy statistiki. No. 1: 18–22. (In Russ.)

Bobkov V.N. (ed.) (2017) Precarity of Employment: Global and Russian Contexts of the Future of Work. Moscow: RealPrint. (In Russ.)

Bobkov V.N., Kvachev V.G., Loktyuhina N.V. (2016) Precarious Employment: Economical and Sociological Origins of the Concept. Vestnik VGU. Ser. Ekonomika i upravlenie [Proceedings of Voronezh State University. Series: Economics and Management]. No. 4: 81–86. (In Russ.)

Bourdieu P. (1998) Precariousness is Everywhere Nowadays. In: Contre-feux. Paris: Raisons d'agir: 96–102. (In Fr.)

Brady D., Biegert Th. (2017) The Rise of Precarious Employment in Germany. SOEP papers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research. No. 936.

Cherkasov V.E., Vakhovsky E.V. (2012) Nonstandard Forms of Employment in Conditions of Postindustrial Economy. Vestnik Povolzhskoy akademii gosudarstvennoy sluzhby [Bulletin of Povolzhskaya Academy of State Service]. No. 31: 205–212. (In Russ.)

Chichina E.V. (2011) Flexible Forms of Employment: Areas of Interest of the Employer and Employee. Promyshlenno-torgovoe pravo [Industrial and Commercial Law]. No. 9: 15–19. (In Russ.)

Gimpelson V., Kapeliushnikov R. (eds) (2017) Mobility and Stability in the Russian Labour Market. Moscow: HSE Publishing House. (In Russ.)

Gimpelson V.E., Kapeliushnikov R.I. (2013) To Live in the Shadows or to Die in the Light: informality in the russian labor Market. Voprosy Ekonomiki. No. 11: 65–88. DOI: 10.32609/0042-8736-2013-11- 65-88. (In Russ.)

Golenkova Z.T., Goliusova Yu.V. (2015) Precariate as a New Phenomenon in Modern Social Structure. In: Golenkova Z.T. (ed.) The Employee in Modern Russia. Moscow: Novyy khronograf: 121–138. (In Russ.)

Kapeliushnikov R. Informality in the Russian Labor Market: What Do Alternative Definitions Tell Us? Working paper WP3/2012/04 [Тext]. Moscow: Publishing House of the Higher School of Economics, 2012. (In Russ.)

Kubishin E.S. (2003) Informal Employment of the Population of Russia. EKO. No. 2: 160–176 (In Russ.)

Kvesko R.B. (2008) Employment and its Regulation. Tomsk: Tomsk. politekhn. un-t. (In Russ.)

Labor Force, Employment and Unemployment in Russia (Based on the Results of Sample Labor Force Surveys). 2018: statistical book. (2018) Moscow: Rosstat. (In Russ.)

Lushnikova M.V., Lushnikov A.M. (2004) Labor Law Course. In 2 vols. Vol. 2: Labor Rights in Human Rights Stystem. Individual Labor Law. Moscow: TK Velbi; Prospekt. (In Russ.)

Pink D. (2001) Free Agent Nation: How America’s New Indededent Workers Are Transforming the Way We Live. New York: Warner Books.

Podgrusha V.V. (2011) Atypical Forms of Employment. Otdel kadrov [Human Resources]. No. 11: 23–31. (In Russ.)

Ryabchuk E.F. (2008) Informal Employment in Russia. Energiya: ekonomika, tekhnika, ekologiya [Energy: Economy, Technics, Ecology]. No. 9: 63–66. Moscow. (In Russ.)

Shkaratan O.I., Karacharovsky V.V., Gasyukova E.N. (2015) Precariat: Theory and Empirical Analysis (Polls in Russia, 1994–2013 Data). Sotsiologicheskie issledovaniya [Sociological studies]. No. 12: 99–110. (In Russ.)

Sinyavskaya O.V. (2005) Informal Employment in Russia: Measurement, Scale and Dynamics. Ekonomicheskaya sotsiologiya [Journal of Economic Sociology]. Vol. 6. No. 2: 12–28. (In Russ.)

Standing G. (2014) The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. Moscow: Ad Marginem Press. (In Russ.)

Tangian A. (2007) Is Flexible Work Precarious? A Study Based on the 4th European Survey of working Conditions 2005. WSI–Diskussionspapier. No. 153. URL: bitstream/10419/21599/1/p_wsi_diskp_153_e.pdf (accessed 20.05.2020).

Toshchenko Zh.T. (ed.) (2008) Precariat: Formation of the New Class: monograph. Moscow: TsSPiM. (In Russ.)

Toshchenko Zh.T. (2018) Precariate: from Protoclass to New Class. Moscow: Nauka. (In Russ.)

Veredyuk O.V. (2016) Informal Employment: Structure and Risk Determinants in Russia. Vestnik SanktPeterburgskogo universiteta. Ekonomika [St. Petersburg University Journal of Economic Studies]. Iss. 4: 33–48. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.21638/11701/spbu05.2016.402.

Vives A., González F., Moncada S., Llorens C., Benach J. (2015) Measuring Precarious Employment in Times of Crisis: the Revised Employment Precariousness Scale (EPRES) in Spain. Gaceta Sanitaria. Vol. 29. No. 5: 379–382. DOI: 10.1016/j.gaceta.2015.06.008.

Women and Men in the Informal Economy: a Statistical Picture. 3rd ed. (2018) International Labour Office. Geneva: ILO.

Wright E.O. (ed.) (2005) Approaches to Class Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511488900.

Zakalyuzhnaya N.V. (2015) Agency Labor and Remote Employment as the Main Forms of Non-standard Labor Relations. Vestnik MGU. Seriya 11. Pravo [Moscow State University Bulletin. Series 11. Law]. No. 4: 97–104. (In Russ.)

Content No 8, 2020